Resolving a long-running dispute about whether automotive service advisors are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime requirements, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared that the lower courts should no longer construe FLSA exemptions narrowly.

The 5 – 4 merits ruling by the Court in Encino Motorcars, LLC, v. Navarro, No. 16-1362 (U.S. April 2, 2018), found that the FLSA’s overtime exemption for “any salesman, partsman, or mechanic primarily engaged in selling or servicing automobiles” applies to automotive service advisors, contrary to regulations issued by the Obama Administration’s Labor Department (DOL) in 2011.

While the Court’s ruling directly impacts only the employers of automotive service advisors, the decision has implications for virtually all employers subject to the FLSA’s requirements. By instructing that the FLSA’s exemptions should not be construed narrowly, but rather “fairly,” the Encino decision is likely to impact judicial consideration of cases involving other FLSA exemptions, including the so-called “white collar” exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees.

Members of the Center for Workplace Compliance (CWC) can read more here.